How to earn CPD points


It is not difficult to earn points in Continuing Professional Development (CPD), no matter what your profession is. The challenge rather lies in buying into CPD and then understanding how the system works. Hereafter you must find and place your trust in a service provider.

Buying into CPD

Buying into the system of earning CPD points means that you support the principles underlying CPD – namely that you as a registered healthcare practitioner have a responsibility to continually update your professional knowledge and skills for the end benefit of the patient or client.

How many CPD points should be earned?

To this end the HPCSA has implemented a Continuing Professional Development programme. Every practitioner, depending on his / her profession is required to earn 30 or 15 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) per twelve-month period and 5 or 3 of the units must be on ethics, human rights, and medical law [see our website under the heading CPD, membership to identify how many CEU’s you need]. Each credit you earn equal a CPD point.

Each CEU will be valid for 24 months from the date on which the activity took place (or ended, in the event of post-graduate studies) after which it would lapse. This means that you should aim to accumulate a balance of 60 CEUs by the end of your second year of practise, and thereafter top-up the balance through additional CPD as each 24 –month validity period expires.

Choosing a provider

Now that you understand what CPD is and how many points or credits you require, you can start looking for a service provider.

To this end you can ask colleagues for their advice and search the Internet. Always remember that you can only earn CPD points if the activity falls within your scope of practice.

The following is a checklist you can use:

  • Are activities accredited? This means that a 3rd party, normally a university of association had a look at the activity and has allocated an accreditation number and a specified number of CEU’s
  • Do activities comply with CPD requirements? Content cannot be older than 5 years, there can only be one TRUE/FALSE question for every five questions, and each question must have at least three options with only one being correct
  • Does the provider seem reputable? Look out for authoritative content on CPD, in other words does the provider organisation know what they are talking about
  • Is the cost per activity of CPD point that you earn fair?
  • Do the activities fall within your scope of practice?
  • Is the mode of delivery effective?
  • Does the online payment portal provide sufficient security for your credit card detail?
  • Does the online system work seamlessly? Is it easy to access the content, and answer the questions?
  • Can you redo an activity for free if you failed it?
  • Are there real people behind the website and online portal? And do they know what they are talking about when it comes to earning CPD points?
  • Is there a help line? Is this line there in theory only, or does someone actually answer when you call?
  • Do you receive a certificate to prove that you have earned CPD points?
  • What value-add’s do the provider offer when you earn your CPD points through them?

It is easier than you think to earn your CPD points, but spend some time in choosing your provider and you will never look back.

Striking workers still bedevil Sapo’s grant payments

Dear Focus on Health members.

Please read the following article about the Post Office strike.

Remember that we also have the following alternative delivering options; email, courier, online, whatsapp and collection form our office which is based in Pretoria.

On Monday, the Communications Workers’ Union declared a national shutdown of Sapo after wage talks broke down.

A number of SA Post Office (Sapo) branches across the country were closed due to a strike yesterday, leaving hundreds of social grant recipients having to find other alternatives.

This is just the latest in a string of events hampering the smooth roll-out of the SA Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) new payment programme, involving the Sapo.

And this comes as Sassa is nearing the end of its grant payout backlog, after 10 days of failing to pay grants to the millions of South African citizens dependent on them, due to a strike by workers at registration and payout points.

As of Monday, Sassa said more than 90% of social grants had been paid.

Sapo took over the contract from Cash Paymaster Services on April 1, to distribute social grants, excluding cash grants.

Last week, the Communications Workers’ Union, SA Customs Union, and the Democratic Postal and Communications Union went on a go-slow to demand higher wages.

On Monday, the Communications Workers Union declared a national shutdown of Sapo after wage talks broke down. Workers were demanding 12% while the employer went from offering 0% to 10% as negotiations intensified at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration offices in Johannesburg.

Sapo argued it could not afford a 12% wage hike, but the workers were digging in their heels after two years without a salary increase.

Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said yesterday that the majority of branches across the nation were open for business, adding that other options were available for social grant recipients with the new Sassa cards.

“The new Sassa card does not restrict beneficiaries to using an SA Post Office branch as channel to access their grants,” he said. “The card offers three free withdrawals per month from supermarket tills such as Shoprite, Boxer Stores and Pick n Pay, and one free monthly withdrawal over a Post Office counter.

“The card can also be used at all ATMs.

“Beneficiaries who withdraw from an ATM should select the current account option. Beneficiaries can get the new card at any Sassa office or at special card-swap venues such as community halls. These events are announced locally well in advance.”

CPD: Guidelines for the Health Practitioners


The revised HPCSA CPD guidelines were published in 2017. Did you know that self study articles cannot be older than 5-years from date of publication in the relevant medical journal? And that only 1 in every 5 questions in a multiple choice questionnaire can be of the TRUE/FALSE kind? Focus on Health complies with these and other CPD requirements.

HPCSA has just sent out their 2nd audit for 2017

The HPCSA has just sent out their 2nd audit for 2017 by email. Proof of CPD compliance for the period 1 November 2015 to 31 October 2017 is required.


Dental assistants registration

Any person who worked as a dental assistant prior to 7 April 2017 and who is not registered with the HPCSA, may apply to the Board within six months of the publication of the Regulations, for registration as a dental assistant. Such a dental assistant must pass a Board examination within two years after registration.

Focus on Health will schedule a number of workshops to assist assistants in preparing for the Board examination. Complete our Quick contact form below and we will be in touch.


Read more


To all our Focus on Health members

Please note the progress of CPD activities for 2016:

  1. Radiography: Activities were posted and emailed in January 2016.
    (If your receive your package via email please also consult your spam/junk folder)
  2. Medical Practitioners: Activities were posted and emailed in the week of 7th March 2016.
  3. Emergency Care personnel: Activities will be posted and emailed as from the 18th of March 2016.
  4. Dentistry: Activities will be posted and emailed as from the 2nd of April 2016.
  5. Physiotherapy and Psychology: Activities will be posted and emailed in May 2016.
    (However we have an ethics and general activity ready for completion, if you would like to do this please send us a whatsapp with your Foh No and “YES” to 074 230 3874)

Dental assistants registration

“In order to facilitate the registration of those dental assistants who, as a result of this moratorium, did not register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the Professional Board for Dental Therapy and Oral Hygiene (PBDOH) is presently instituting measures that would enable unqualified yet experienced dental assistants to be provisionally registered for a period of two years, with the provision that within a period of two years they complete a Board examination”.

If you need to be updated on this issue and hope to provisionally register, please complete the “Quick contact” form on the homepage and indicate that your query concerns the registration of dental assistants.

Read more

New HPCSA compliance audit

The HPCSA is conducting a new CPD compliance audit of registered health care professionals.

If you are a member of Focus on Health, please relax immediately. We will take care of everything. But remember, we must know you are being audited. Drop us an email, do that WhatsApp thing on 074 230 3874 or give us a shout and let us know. We will take it from there.

If you are already compliant, we will on your request send your Individual CPD Activity Record (IAR) on to the HPCSA and copy you in. If not, we will let you know what the problem is and solve it with you.

Our CPD activities for radiography for 2016 are ready

This year you will only receive one package with 15 activities and a total of 31 CEU’s.

For our email clients: Your CPD package has been sent out via email on the 22nd of January 2016. If you did not receive your email please contact us.

For our postal clients: Your CPD package was posted as from the 18th of January 2016.

Shortage of medical supplies to be addressed

Pretoria – The National Department of Health says manufacturers of medical supplies have reported that they have already implemented remedial measures to address the shortage of medical supplies to public and private healthcare facilities.

The department said manufacturers have committed to addressing the problem over the next four weeks.

“… They plan to deliver all outstanding orders for the majority of the medicines that are affected,” said the department on Monday.

The department said manufacturers reported this following an urgent meeting convened by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Friday, with 32 executives from pharmaceutical companies and suppliers that have been experiencing difficulties to supply about 155 product lines over the past couple of weeks.

The medicines affected by these shortages include certain antibiotics, cardiovascular medicines, analgesics, anesthetic agents and central nervous system medicines.

“Manufacturers of these medicines had an opportunity to share the reasons for these shortages. Each product faces a specific set of challenges. Nevertheless, these problems could be categorised into three areas:

  • Difficulty with sourcing of the active pharmaceutical ingredient and other raw materials,
  • Unforeseen delays in the formulation and packaging of medicines, and
  • Unanticipated increases in demand for a particular medicine.

The department said the shortage is due to lack of active pharmaceutical ingredients globally. The department said it has joined hands with Pharmaceutical companies to avoid drug stock outs in South Africa’s health system.

“The shortage of medicines is a global problem affecting even the most developed countries including the United States, Canada, European Union and Australia. In South Africa, these shortages have affected both the public and private health sectors,” said the department.

The health department said it will be monitoring the situation and implement other measures necessary to ensure the availability of medicines in the health system.

The department said it has been searching for other global suppliers that may have sufficient stock of these items to assist until supplies are restored.

“Over the next couple of weeks we anticipate receiving these medicines from suppliers outside of South Africa, and we are confident that the supplies will improve.

“During this period of limited supplies, it may be necessary for patients to use a different strength of medicine where their usual prescribed strength is unavailable (e.g. 30 mg tablet is unavailable so take two 15mg tablets) or in some cases using a therapeutic alternative until the usual medicine is back in stock,” said the department.

The department said it will be communicating the details of how to address the shortage of each medicine with health professionals, and will also engage the World Health Organization (WHO) to get guidance, especially on the latest developments with regard to products that are pre-qualified by the organisation, as the department endeavour to source some of this items globally to avoid medicine stock outs in the country.

Meanwhile, the department reiterated that there is no shortage of ARV’s in South Africa, and the supplies of Abacavir is now restored and all back orders will be filled in mid-June. –